Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer which starts in Lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that help protect the body from infection and disease. Lymphoma may develop in many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood or other organs. There are two main types of lymphomas: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. These two types show almost the same symptoms, occur in the same places, and often have similar appearance on physical examination. However, they are readily distinguishable via microscopic examination of a tissue biopsy.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL): Any lymphoma that does not involve Reed-Sternberg cells is classified as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. There are more than 30 types of NHL, some of which are more common than others. They are further classified as per the type of Lymphocyte involved i.e. B-cell Lymphoma or T- Cell Lymphoma’s. B-cell Lymphoma is more common than T-cell Lymphoma.
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL): They are less common than NHL and involve the Reed-Sternberg cells. There are 6 types of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:
- Classic Hodgkin disease (95% of all Lymphoma)- Nodular sclerosis Hodgkin disease, Mixed cellularity Hodgkin disease, Lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin disease and Lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin disease.
- Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin disease
- Age: The risk of Lymphoma increases with age. The most common types of NHL occur most often in people in their 60s and 70s. It can also occur in older children. People of any age can be diagnosed with Hodgkin disease, but it is most common in early adulthood (ages 15 to 40, especially in 20s) and in late adulthood (above 55).
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop Lymphoma than women.
- Family history: Brothers and sisters of young people with this disease have a higher risk for Hodgkin disease. Also the risk is very high for identical twins with Hodgkin disease.
- Bacterial infections: Some types of NHL are associated with specific infections. For example, MALT lymphoma of the stomach is thought to be caused by an infection with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.
- Viruses: Viruses like the human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus (HTLV-1) and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) can cause some types of Lymphoma. For example EBV, which is associated with some types of NHL including Burkitt lymphoma and lymphomas occurring after an organ transplant or often linked with Lymphoma in patient suffering from HIV/AIDS. In addition, hepatitis C infection has been associated with an increased risk of marginal zone lymphomas of the spleen. Other viruses have also been found to be important in causing other, rare types of lymphoma.
- Immune deficiency disorders: Immune system disorders, such as HIV/AIDS, increase the risk of NHL, especially the aggressive B-cell lymphomas.
- Autoimmune disorders: People with autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren syndrome, have an increased risk of developing certain types of NHL. Also, some drugs used to treat autoimmune disorders may increase the risk of NHL.
- Chemical exposure: Exposure to certain chemicals like benzene, pesticides and petrochemicals, may increase the risk of NHL.
- Organ transplantation: Organ transplant recipients have a higher risk of Lymphoma because of the drugs that might be taken to lower immune system function to protect the transplanted organ.
- Previous cancer treatments: Previous treatment with certain drugs for other types of cancer may increase the risk of NHL.
Most people with lymphomas have no symptoms in the early stage. And the disease is usually encountered while testing for other conditions.
Enlarged lymph nodes are the most common symptom of lymphoma. Appearances of a lump or several lumps followed by other associated complaints mentioned below are few of the symptoms:
- Recurrent fevers and excessive sweating at night
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Persistent itch all over the body without an apparent cause or rash
- Enlarged tonsils
- Localised pain due to enlarged lymph node
- Physical Examination: Physical examination in cases of Lymphoma helps to evaluate any abnormal lymph nodes or enlargement on the body. On the basis of same, further tests can be advised by doctor.
- FNAC(Fine needle Aspiration): A diagnostic procedure used to investigate lumps or masses under the skin.
- Biopsy: Removal of a lymph node or section of tumour which is then examined under the microscope. This helps to diagnose the type of Lymphoma.
- Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan: CT scans shows abnormalities, such as enlarged lymph nodes, or tumours in the body. A CT scan can also be used to measure the size of a tumor. A special dye called a contrast medium is usually given before the scan to improve the details of the images. This dye can be injected into a patient’s vein or given as a liquid to swallow. A CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis can help find cancer that has spread to the other parts of the body.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: A PET scan is a way to create pictures of organs and tissues inside the body. A small amount of a radioactive sugar substance is injected into the patient’s vein. This sugar substance is taken up by cancer cells and in turn absorbs more of the radioactive substance. A scanner then detects this substance to produce images of the inside of the body. PET scans may be used to determine the stage of Lymphoma, although they are usually done with a CT scan, known as a PET-CT scan. PET scans may also be used to see how the lymphoma is responding to treatment.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI uses magnetic fields to produce detailed images of the body. A special dye called a contrast medium is given before the scan to create a clearer picture. This dye can be injected into a patient’s vein or given as a liquid to swallow. This is sometimes used for Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: These two procedures are similar and often done at the same time to examine the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside the center of the bones. It has both solid and a liquid part. A bone marrow aspiration is removal of a sample of the fluid with a needle and a bone marrow biopsy is the removal of a small amount of solid tissue using a needle. The sample is then analyzed by a pathologist. Lymphoma can spread to the bone marrow, so looking at a sample of the bone marrow can be important for doctors to diagnose lymphoma and determine the stage.
The only way to prevent lymphoma is to avoid exposure to chemicals like benzene and other known factors that can be avoided.
There are several treatments available for the treatment of Lymphoma. At Cancer Healer Center, Lymphoma is treated through cancer healer therapy based on IMMUNOTHERAPY. It is effective in treating low grade as well as high grade lymphomas. Even when given in conjunction with chemotherapy, it helps to overcome the side effects of the latter. Cancer healer therapy boosts and enhances patient’s own immune system to fight back against the cancer cells. Cancer healer therapy boosts and enhances patient’s own immune system to fight back against the cancer. It helps to control the lymphoma growth along with preventing the chances of recurrence. Lymphoma patients taking cancer healer therapy survive with a better quality of life.